Thursday, August 7, 2014

Clean and Simple Dresser

It's funny when you find an interesting piece of furniture, then later come across the same or very similar piece.  About two years ago I found this-

and turned it into this-

The response was very positive and there was a lot of interest around it.  So when that happens, sometimes you just have to repeat it.

Several weeks ago I found this, and knew exactly what I would do with it. White with black hardware just seems so appropriate for the style.

I wasn't good about taking pictures throughout its progress, but here is what I did.  I took about one minute to scratch up the surface with 220 grit sandpaper.  Then I cleaned the piece very thoroughly with a 1:1 ratio of vinegar and water.  It was now time to start painting.  I applied 3 coats of Shabby Paints Snow White.  It's the brightest white color they have.  When going from a darker color to a very light one, it can take a few coats to cover.  There were still some spots that weren't quite bright white due to the darker wood underneath, but applying White ReVax would conquer two things--seal and protect the paint as well as whitening and brightening it more.

Just after one coat of White ReVax, the dresser was stark white.  I debated doing a little distressing but really liked it as is.

Then I painted all the hardware in Licorice.  In retrospect I would have tried to spray the Licorice instead of brushing.  It took a few coats to cover it completely.  Finally I sealed the hardware with Black ReVax.  It's a great little tip--using White ReVax over Snow White and Black ReVax over Licorice.

So here is the final result.

There are these little interesting holes in the wood that show through, creating little speckles.  But it looks nice and provides added interest.

So once again we went from this-

to this-

And another makeover is complete!

To learn more about Shabby Paints, see

Friday, August 1, 2014

Pearls and Shimmers

I write a lot about distressing and creating old and aged looks.  I don't often create glamorous pieces.  But I've had some fun with Shabby Paints shimmer glazes and paints as of late.  I've tried to stretch beyond my usual style by creating some items that have a shiny, shimmery, iridescent look.

This cabinet was given a new look with a combination of Shabby Paints products.  The piece was in good shape, actually better than what I usually find. I almost didn't paint it, but it did look a bit outdated and needed a change.

So I started out with Shabby Paints Worn White.  Because I was going from a dark to light color, it took a few coats.  Here it is after one coat.

The second coat covered pretty well, but a third coat gave it a pretty solid color change.  After that it was ready for some shimmer!  I used Shabby Paints Pearl White and it applied it all over the paint.  It now looked soft and shimmery.  (sorry--I did not get pictures as the process continued) This was easy to apply with a soft damp brush.  It spread very nicely and smoothly.

The final step was to ReVax the piece with Pearl ReVax.  That put the final touch on creating a soft iridescent finish.  I sprayed my sponge with water, dipped it in the Pearl ReVax, and applied it all over.  After it had dried completely, I applied another coat.  ReVax can protect and seal as well as providing texture if applied all over a piece.

So here is the final result.

The finish is not glaring or glossy at all.  It has a soft, shimmery glow that is quite nice.  It's glamorous but not overpowering.

This piece has some wonderful natural curves.

More will come on shimmers paints and glazes.  But for now, have a wonderful weekend everyone!

To learn more about Shabby Paints, see

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Renewed Buffet

Recently I found a buffet that had an odd finish on it.  It looked like it had some sort of glaze on it.  Whatever it was, it looked like it was in need of a makeover.

The first step with this piece was lightly scuffing the surface with 220 grit sandpaper.  Then I cleaned it really well with a 1:1 ratio of water and vinegar. 

After the easy prep work it was time for painting with Shabby Paints!  Several of my fellow Shabby Paints stylists have created a nice top using Buffalo Brown paint and Brown Bronze Shimmer Glaze.  I wanted to give it a try, so I mixed them in a 2:1 paint to shimmer ratio and applied it to the top.  After two coats it was looking really nice.  Next time I might do a 1:1 ratio, but I was happy with these results.  After that I sealed the top with Hazelnut ReVax to darken it just a touch.  Over a time span of a couple days, I applied two coats of varnish to top it off.

The body was painted with Baby Boo.  It is such a lovely soft gray blue color.  One coat covered pretty well, but I added a second to have full coverage. With the first coat I tend to use a dry paint brush, but with the second coat I always use a damp brush to make the paint glide easier.  Here it is after the second coat (sitting in the shade made it look a little more blue).

After the paint was sufficiently dry, I applied a coat of sheer Vax using a damp sponge.  Later that day I lightly applied Hazelnut ReVax for a soft aged look.  I used a damp sponge and worked quickly to spread the ReVax around so that it wasn't too dark.  You can see the detail in the picture below.

After the ReVax was dry, voila it was complete!  That's what I love about Vax and ReVax--you just sponge or brush it on and let it dry.  It has a nice soft look similar to wax, but application is so much easier and you don't have to buff afterward.  And it's very durable!

So we went from this-

 To this-

For more information on Shabby Paints, see

Friday, June 27, 2014

Little French Cabinet

June is such a busy month, hence the break from the blog.  There are four birthdays in my family plus Father's Day, so it's party after party.  And then there is the fact that when you live in Minnesota, you have to take advantage of the warmer summer months and fill them with activity.  That's just how it goes.

Between parties I did manage to find some fun furniture.  One cabinet wasn't anything to speak of necessarily, but there were some nice curves and lines in the piece.  It definitely looked like it could have a French flair, which of course is my favorite style to emulate.

Here is the piece when I got it.  It didn't have any hardware.

I wanted it to have some subtle textures, so layering paint was the best way to accomplish that.  I started with Shabby Paints So Serene and lightly (and somewhat sloppily) applied it.

 Then next layer was with Antique Verde, which was applied very randomly.

After the layers were sufficiently dry, I applied Alamo White with a very watery brush to create a wash.  I moved the brush up and down and diagonally in quick motions.

I had a cloth on hand to wipe back and blend in some of the Alamo White.

I kept playing with the brush and the rag, wiping it down, adding more, dry brushing some areas, and doing whatever I could to create an aged textured look.  Eventually it looked like this.

I was hoping for it to be even more subtle, so I did another layer of the Alamo White in the same motions.  The second coat of white created those subtle textures I was hoping for.

Finally after all the paint was dry, I applied two coats of Vax for protection.  I love working with Vax because it's so quick and easy.  I sprayed a car polishing sponge with a quick squirt of water, then dipped it in the Vax.  With quick even strokes, it was applied over the paint.  If the sponge seemed too dry and more difficult to spread, I would spray another squirt of water to dampen it.  After the two coats of Vax, it was finished.  Almost.  I found some appropriate hardware in my stash and added that final touch.

 This close up shows off the texture better.

So we went from this....

to this....

This piece was somewhat trial and error and involved playing with the paint to get it right.  But that's the fun part, right?

For more information on Shabby Paints, see

Friday, May 30, 2014

So Serene Cabinet

When I picked up this cabinet, it was a mess!  Lots of scratches, indents, and even screws drilled in on the sides to keep a shelf intact.

The first thing I did was remove the shelf and fill in the holes where the screws were.

After cleaning it up and getting it back into shape, I wiped it down with a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water.  Then it received a few coats of Shabby Paints So Serene.

After the paint had sufficiently dried, I applied Shabby Paints VAX with a damp sponge.  I spray the sponge with one quick squirt of water, dip it in the VAX, then spread it across the piece.  If it feels like the sponge needs to be dampened again, I do another quick squirt of water before continuing to apply.

After the VAX dried, I distressed the piece with 220 grit sandpaper.  It's become my preference to distress and sand after one coat of VAX.  It's less dusty when distressing and makes the second coat of VAX or ReVAX real smooth.  When it looked distressed enough, I applied hazelnut ReVAX in both a damp sponge and a brush.  I use the sponge to spread it out, and the brush to get into corners and little crannies.  The Hazelnut ReVAX softened the brightness of the color and made the piece look a bit aged.

One final step was that the back had a hole where a cord could run through.  So to cover this up, I applied fabric with Modge Podge on the back.  It not only covered the hole, but gave the piece some nice contrast.

Here is the result.

This piece is a little more bold than what I usually do, but I'm pleased with the end result.  Hopefully a customer will be too!

For more information on Shabby Paints, see